Friday, May 22, 2009

Kentucky hunters set record harvest

Kentucky’s recently completed spring turkey season was a success as hunters harvested a record 29,006 birds. That eclipsed the old mark of 28,797 birds in 2006.

“Despite the bad weather, turkey hunters are dedicated sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Karen Alexy, wildlife division director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “They still got out there and made this the best season ever.”

poult counts last summer were the highest in the 25-year history of the program, which left many predicting a fabulous harvest for this spring.

“We had more birds on the ground than probably at any time in modern history,” said Steven Dobey, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s turkey program coordinator. “Interest in turkey hunting continues to grow. That, combined with the record number of turkeys on the ground, resulted in a phenomenal season.”

KDFWR officials should know in a matter of months how successful this years hatch is.

“By early fall, we’ll have a post-harvest estimate of what the population looks like,” said Dobey. “I expect it to be great – those hens made it through the spring season and are nested now.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife make changes for elk season

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission has made several modifications to the upcoming elk season.

The Commission recommended splitting Elk Hunt Unit 6 into four sub-units designated by letter. Elk Hunt Unit 6 is home to the 16,704-acre Graham Wildlife Management Area (WMA), the 30,038-acre Begley WMA and the 54,838-acre Corrigan WMA. Subdividing Elk Hunt Unit 6, which is located in all or parts of Clay, Leslie, Harlan, Bell, Knox, Whitley and McCreary counties, will help more evenly distribute hunting pressure during the quota elk hunts. The subdivision would take effect this year.

Commission members also recommended changes to the 2010 late season quota elk hunt. The hunts began last year to help control elk-related property damage. Hunters drawn for this hunt will come from the pool of regular hunt applicants who are also residents of the 16-county elk restoration zone. Hunters may also harvest a few spike bulls. The number of hunters to be drawn for this late season hunt has not yet been determined.

The Commission also standardized the definition of a youth for elk hunting as “a person who has not reached their sixteenth birthday by the day of the hunt.” This regulation would not take effect until 2010. It would not affect youths drawn for the 2009 hunt.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kentucky officials call special meeting

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commision has called an emergency meeting for Friday May 8, at 11 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) headuqarters in Frankfort.

The meeting is to discuss regulations for Kentucky's elk hunt. Items to be discussed include the possibilty of a late season quota hunt, requiring youth hunters to be under 16 at the time of the hunt and the subdivision of one elk hunting unit (EHU).

The meeting is open to the public.

For more information you can contact the KDFWR at or by calling 1-800-858-1549.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BASS Postseason announcement

Before the BASS Elite Series season opener BASS announced changes to the format due to the economy. Inluded in these changes was the announcement of the first ever postseason. Today BASS released the information via a press release that follows below:

BASS announced Wednesday that the organization will head to Alabama, the state where it was founded more than 40 years ago, for the inaugural Bassmaster Elite Series postseason. The postseason, dubbed the Toyota Trucks Championship Week and set for Sept. 10-18, will be played out on two productive Alabama fisheries, with the first leg set for Lake Jordan out of Wetumpka and the finale, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph, slated for the Alabama River from Montgomery.

Rich with BASS history, Alabama has hosted 10 Bassmaster Classics and will be the site for the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 19-21 out of Birmingham and Lay Lake. The 2009 Bassmaster Elite Series season will culminate with the final day’s weigh-in in Montgomery, a city in which BASS was headquartered for more than 35 years. The 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year will be crowned at the season finale and will be awarded the accompanying $200,000 top prize.

“What a way to end the 2009 season in a state where BASS was established,” said Tom Ricks, vice president and general manager, ESPN Outdoors & BASS. “With this new format, we anticipate an exciting finish that will create excellent content for fishing fans.”

Additionally, at the conclusion of the final weigh-in, Academy of Country Music Award winner for 2009 Best New Group and recent CMT Music Award nominee, Zac Brown Band, will play a free, live concert at the Montgomery Riverwalk Amphitheater. Best known for the No. 1 hit single, “Chicken Fried”, the Zac Brown Band ushered in the 2009 BASS tournament season with a rambunctious set at the 2009 Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

With the introduction of the new postseason format, a detailed schedule has been created for the Toyota Trucks Championship Week, beginning with two practice days, Sept. 10-11, followed by two competition days, Sept. 12-13, on Jordan, titled the Trophy Chase. The 12 qualifying anglers will then take a one-day break Sept. 14 for media and sponsor activities. Anglers will then move to Montgomery for the final competition, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph.

A two-day practice period, Sept. 15-16, on the Alabama River will be followed by the season’s final two days of competition on the spacious fishery Sept. 17-18. With the postseason about four months away and half of the regular-season events in the books, the jockeying for postseason position is heating up.

Only the top 12 anglers in the Bassmaster Elite Series regular-season AOY standings will qualify for the postseason. The regular season will conclude with the Aug. 13-16 Ramada Champion’s Choice on Oneida Lake out of Syracuse, N.Y.

BASS is matching the prestige of the postseason events with an ambitious multimedia schedule. As part of daily, live updates on, the popular webcast, Hooked Up, will host on-the-water coverage from practice and competition days coupled with live post-competition interviews. Also, similar to the Elite Series regular season, streaming, video from the daily weigh-ins will be streamed on

Other events planned as part of postseason coverage include live skills contests, content from morning launches and on-the-water updates throughout the competition. ESPN Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders will anchor the coverage with significant contributions from BASS emcee Keith Alan.

Fishing fans can also catch expanded television coverage chronicling the two postseason events on The Bassmasters on Sept. 27 at 2-4 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
As previously announced, the scoring format for the postseason will ensure the integrity of the Angler of the Year award and provide for an exciting, down-to-the-wire race. After the regular season, BASS will determine the top 12 moving into the postseason based on their final place in the regular-season standings.

Postseason scores will be calculated by moving one decimal place to the left and rounding to the nearest tenth. Additionally, each angler will receive two bonus points for each regular-season win. For the two postseason events, anglers will be scored on a 50-point sliding scale. Full details can be found at

Monday, May 4, 2009

National Archery in the Schols tournament coming

The National Archery in the Schools Program will host its national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky May 8 & 9, 2009.

Student archers from 30 states in elementary, middle and high schools will compete in the tournament. Over 3500 students are expected to compete, and some will vie for over $14,000 in scholarship money.

Thirty-six state tournaments were conducted over the course of the spring, and the champions from each state have been invited to compete in the national tournament, which is expected to be the largest archery tournament in the United States.

The National Archery in the Schools Program began 7 years ago in Kentucky , and now has chapters in 46 states, 5000 schools, and has expanded to Canada , New Zealand , Australia , and South Africa . One millions students are expected to participate in the current 2008-2009 school year.

The tournament will be held at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center from 10am-6:30pm on Friday, May 8 and from 9:00am-4:00pm on Saturday, May 9, 2009. More information is available at or by calling 802-865-5202.

I will be at the event on both Friday and Saturday and will post info and results here on my blog. I will also be writing a feature story about the event that will run in the July issue of Midwest Outdoors.

Archery Park opens

Over 150 people were present at the Cullman Community Archery Park grand opening ceremonies last week in the Alabama town.

The park is one initiative in the larger Community Archery Program to grow archery and bowhunting. The $285,000 project, a collaborative effort between the City of Cullman, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (ADWFF) and the Archery Trade Association (ATA), will also act as a show piece for states across the country that are interested in providing similar archery and bowhunting participation opportunities through local archery parks or shooting facilities and introductory archery programs such as the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and the After School Archery Program (ASAP).

The Cullman archery park features 36 targets, including an eight-target beginner's range from 5 to 20 yards; an eight-target general target range of 15 to 50 yards; a four-target bowhunting range of 10 to 40 yards with a 12-foot platform; and a 16-target walking course with shots out to 70 yards.

I would love to see something like this in my home state of Kentucky and am going to speak with members of the KDFWR to see if it is feasible. I think it would be a perfect fit in our archery rich state which founded the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).

Youngster Blaylock knocks off the big boys

On April 26, Stetson Blaylock became the youngest bass tournament professional to win a Walmart FLW Tour event at 21-years-old.

Blaylock outdistanced a of veteran field at North Carolina’s Lake Norman. The young man began fishing FLW events at 16-years-old as a co-angler and captured a victory at the Walmart Open on Beaver Lake in 2008. That win and several consistent finishes propelled him to the Co-Angler of the Year award.

To read more about Blaylock’s story go to: